by Elias Yabarow
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Eight thousands militants, twenty years of civil war, and several presidents all for one mission: stability. Millions of Somalis now suffer from the extremities of poverty and hunger. Children have been mentally battered, bruised, and deprived of a decent education, and their parents live anything but a decent life. Underneath the dark shadows of tribalism, Somalis have lived in a haze of negativity. But somehow, the color of hope is as vibrant as ever.
For Somalis, hope has a color far beyond what our eyes can see. This color is personified by the patriotic actions that are practiced senselessly by Somalis around the world. It’s exemplified by the countless of individuals who have sacrificed established careers as lawyers, professors, and advocates to engage in a seemingly impossible task to rebuild our nation. This color is defined by the courageous actions of a mother and her daughters, who help provide food, education, and physical care to nearly 100,000 individuals, despite being threatened at gunpoint by militants.
Not to mention the active role many of the Somali-American youth have played, whether it’s starting non-profit organizations or bringing the much needed attention to the crisis in Somalia. These are ordinary people with extraordinary visions, who live by the mantra “the greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph.” The bright dreams of the Somali youth is in itself, the color of hope, for every envision starts with an idea; a spark of hope that change is within grasp.
Shown above was a city in civility. It was city that attracted tourists from almost every corner of the world. This was a city that displayed the beauty of unity within a nation, raising its youth with the power of ink and spoken word, not the power of artillery. Above all, this serves as a reminder that despite the current state a nation is in, its potential to re-achieve prosperity will always be there.
The color of hope is depicted in the ivory star marinated in a sea of blue. It’s felt in our national anthem, starting with the eloquent words of “Soomaaliyeey toosoo.” And this hope resides in the minds of millions of Somalis worldwide. But we must compromise. Let us compromise for the mother who spent two decades of her life burning coal as a means to pay for her child’s tuition, only to see him brutally murdered upon graduation. Let us compromise for the countless of orphans who wake up every morning not knowing what their next meal is.
As Gandhi once said “Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.” Somalia now faces drudgery, but we should not let our present state cloud the success of our past. We’ve past the beginning, and since 1991, we’ve been in a struggle. That gives us a lifetime to regain victory. In our history, buildings have been shattered, bones have been broken, and countless of lives have been lost. But there is absolutely nothing a war can do to the hope of a nation.
Engineering student at George Mason University